Pathogenicity and Virulence

Pathogenicity was defined as the capacity of a microbe to cause damage in a host . Pathogenic fungi are fungi that cause disease in humans or other organisms. The study of pathogenic fungi is referred to as "medical mycology." Although fungi are eukaryotic organisms, many pathogenic fungi are also microorganisms,

while virulence is viewed to be a relative term and defined as the relative capacity of a microbe to cause damage in a host. Specific pathogens possess a wide array of virulence factors. Some are chromosomally encoded and intrinsic to the bacteria (e.g. capsules and endotoxin), whereas others are obtained from mobile genetic elements like plasmids and bacteriophages (e.g. some exotoxins). Virulence factors encoded on mobile genetic elements spread through horizontal gene transfer, and can convert harmless bacteria into dangerous pathogens

In this formulation, a pathogenic microbe causes disease only when the damage incurred in the host is sufficient to affect  homeostasis. Importantly, host damage can occur as a result of direct microbial action on tissues, as a result of immune response to the microbe or both.

  • Pathogenic fungi
  • Medical mycology
  • Virulence factors
  • Homeostasis.

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